BY Max DeneauPublished Mar 20, 2013

Wormed turned plenty of heads with 2003's Planisphaerium, a real shit-kicker of a debut that renovated the standard Unique Leader/United Guttural toilet bowl sound into a towering fortress of avant sci-fi slam. While one might expect a ten-year gap between full-lengths to either severely dilute the band's intensity or transform them even further into something utterly not of this Earth, Exodromos is notably free of surprises. If anything, the tidier production and slightly less bowel-rupturing gurgling bring their sound closer to later Cryptopsy, Defeated Sanity or other somewhat more streamlined genre offerings, but it's still not a huge change. In the past ten years, so much has happened in the style as a whole — from the influx of Necrophagist clones to the current surge of bands such as Ulcerate or Portal taking the wackier side of death metal to levels barely fathomable outside of the later Gorguts catalogue — that one cannot fault Wormed for ignoring the trends and merely updating their already dizzying formula. Stopping short of heralding this as the brutal death My Bloody Valentine, Exodromos is best experienced as an offering we are lucky to have at all, rather than as a stand-in for a fantasy follow-up we were never entitled to.

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